The Tinkler here

April 2015
Volume 15, Issue 1
Department of
Inside This Issue…..
Special Farewell
Resident’s Corner
Urodynamics Course
Urology Nursery
Dr Ian. Thompson Bio
Nurses’ Notes
The Tinkler
A Very Special Farewell
By Laila Rockman
March 31, 2015 - I waited for this day for a long time and it is with mixed emotions that I say farewell. As both Dave Bell and Bob
Schwarz would say, I’m now “at ease” and “able to sit up and take nourishment”. Honestly, I’m glad to be able to do both these things!
I have so many memories that I couldn’t possibly relate them all but I would like to share a few of them.
In July, 1980, I walked into the Department and a few hours later, I thought I was in the wrong place.
Dr. Awad was the new
Department Head and I was his new secretary. I walked into an office that I would be sharing with Vina Moses who was told somebody
would be showing up that morning. There was no furniture for me and the typewriter hadn’t arrived yet. Note I said typewriter and it
wasn’t even a correctable one!! Off to a great start! All of a sudden, this inpatient comes in, a teenager, literally bopping around full
of energy, not a hair on his head, holds out a bag of chips and says in this really strong Newfoundland accent, “they just cut off me
balls, you want a chip”? I was so stunned I could hardly speak and I just looked at him and said no thanks. He said OK, turned around
and left. Keep in mind I had never seen a chemo patient, never even heard of testicular cancer and really didn’t know anything about
cancer. I had just spent nine years in Cardiology – I don’t think the word cancer was ever spoken there. As soon as he left, I asked
myself what I had gotten into. I was sure I was going to hate working there but gradually, I got used to it, met many more young guys
like him and learned a whole lot about cancer and how people deal with it. The guy with the chips died about a year and a half later.
He told me he felt that the staff were like family to him and how at home he felt in Halifax as he had been coming here for so long. To
me, that said it all and over the years, I came to realize that Urology is like a family to me. I may never have given birth but I had
children, lots and lots of them, smart ones, funny ones, pain in the ass ones, but all of you, you treated me like family. Always so kind
and respectful – you made coming to work lots of fun.
In 1997, Richard Norman decided it was time to institute an education office and I took on the job of looking after the residents and
clerks. I am forever grateful to him for allowing me this opportunity. No such thing as HR and an interview, just came in to work,
walked into a different office and proceeded to develop a job. During the first day of the clerkship rotation, I was still stumbling
through it as it was all so new to me.
The week before, the Associate Dean had a meeting with all the education coordinators as there were a lot of us who had just started.
He told us there would be times when we would be the first in line to be privy to something a resident or clerk had to say or complain
Publishing assistance for this edition of the Tinkler
is made possible by an unrestricted grant from
AstraZeneca Canada.
A Farewell Continued
Page 2 of 4
Maybe they wouldn’t want the Program Director or his fellow resident or clerk to know about it and he would feel comfortable
enough to talk to the coordinator. I was sitting at my desk a few weeks later and a clerk came to the door and asked if he could
talk to me. I said sure and he came in and shut the door. My first thought was uh-oh, this looks serious. He sat down and asked
me if I heard what had happened to his class the previous weekend. I had no clue and said no, I hadn’t heard anything. He told
me one of his classmates had committed suicide and then he broke down crying. As clear as a bell, I remember to this day
thinking that I wished I had gone to university and then immediately asking myself what good would that be at that particular
moment. Anyway, we talked for quite a while and I just flew by the seat of my pants, hoping that I could bring him some kind of
comfort. When he left, he turned around and asked me if he could come back again to talk some time as he said I was so easy to
talk to. I said sure and he did a few more times. He ended up being admitted to the hospital and ultimately left medical school
six months before graduation. It was right after that moment all those years ago that I realized that one of the most important
parts of my job was not the office work, coordinating activities, booking seminars or any other of a hundred different things that
I do but to be able to connect with people when they needed somebody to talk to, shed a tear, chill out or share a laugh. It’s
something that I’ve felt honoured to be able to do. For me, this aspect of the job has always been the most rewarding and given
me the most satisfaction of all. Common sense was one of the most important skills I brought to the job. I’m a pretty private
person so to have people place their trust in me was the ultimate compliment.
I am in a very unique position, as I’ve known a lot of you since you were med students. I have watched you graduate from
medical school, finish your residency, do a fellowship and become staff. You have always supported me, both professionally and
personally, put your trust in me and allowed me to do what I thought was in the best interests of the residents. Last month,
Peter Anderson’s daughter came through as a clerk so the circle of life goes on.
To all the many residents I have had the privilege of meeting and helping all these years, thank you for allowing me to be your
friend through your residency. I’ve been asked so many times who my favorite resident was and I have no answer for that
because you’re each very special in your own way.
I have been lucky enough to meet so many great people, both from inside the Department and outside and have enjoyed so many
friendships over this time. When I think back over the last 35 years, all I remember are the good times and all the laughs and
that’s what counts the most.
To Said Awad, Peter Anderson, Greg Bailly and John Grantmyre…….”my bosses” – you were so easy to work with. In actuality, I
think there were many times when I was the “bossy” one!
To Dave Bell, Joe Lawen and Ricardo Rendon – who always graced
my doorway with a big smile. Don’t think I will ever hear the words, “at ease”, “Laaaaa-iiillla” or “hey” without thinking of the
three of you! To Dawn MacLellan who broke the glass ceiling and to Ashley Cox (the little elective student in the pink puffy
jacket who looked just like a teenager) and Andrea Lantz who opened it even wider! Somebody once asked me if any of the
doctors had made me cry over the years and my reply was that I may have made them cry with all my nagging.
To Shelley, Debbie, Lindsey, Lori and Leanne, I know that you know how lucky you are to be working here. There are not many
places that can hold a candle to where we come every day. To Colleen and Joyce, my retired work sisters, who contributed in
large measure to so many of the fun times we shared at work. To Paula, I hope you find the happiness and satisfaction that the
job provided me and that you can accomplish what I couldn’t…………..get the residents to throw the bagels out once they’ve sat
on their table for three days straight!
In closing, I just want to say that it’s been an honour and a privilege to have worked with all of you, three generations of
urologists and 91 residents strong.
I wish you all the best for every success and will always follow the progress of the
Department and its staff. I will miss you, most especially the residents. Thanks for the memories, it’s been wonderful.
The Tinkler
Page 3 of 4
Resident’s Corner
Meet Jesse Ory
My name is Jesse Ory and I’m from Victoria, BC. I attended UBC for my
undergraduate degree and medical school. During these years, I used my
spare time to travel to India, play water polo, kayak, and bike around BC
and Germany. Anything in the water or outdoors are favourites of mine.
After a two week elective in Halifax for Urology, I was convinced that
Dalhousie would have the best Urology program for me. It is a perfect
combination of camaraderie, surgical exposure, teaching and a fantastic
resident group. I can’t wait to move to Halifax and get immersed in the
culture. I look forward to meeting all of you in the near future!
Laborie UDS Course
February 6th-7th 2014
An Urodynamics course was hosted in Halifax and was attended by
13 nurses from all over Nova Scotia and as far away as Ontario. It
was a comprehensive two day course presented by Dr. Jerzy
Gajewski and Emmi Champion, RN. It was a fantastic time and a very
successful, informative weekend.
Urology Nursery
They make them cute in Urology! Congrats
Peter & Noella;
Ross & Laura;
Matt Acker & Alana;
Ashley & Karthik
William David Acker
9lbs 0oz
Henry Alexander
Ross Mason
7lbs 0oz
Sophia Rose
7lbs 8oz
Keaton Nikhil
6lbs 1oz
Upcoming Events!
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Shared Care Meeting, Halifax NS, May 9, 2015
AUA Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, May 15-19, 2015
CUA Annual Meeting, Ottawa, ON, June 17-30, 2015
Nurses’ Notes
Department of Urology
Room 293, 5 Victoria
1276 South Park Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 2Y9
Tinkler Layout & Design:
Debbie Lewis-Boyce
Lindsey Ackles
Dr. John Grantmyre
10A News
Congrats to Nancy Mullin, RN and Debbie Logan, RN on their retirements!
Welcome to the team Kim Lesle-Sharpe, RN; Laura Gillis, RN and Sheana Sullivan, RN.
Roseanne McDonald attended the Urodynamics course offered by Dr. Gajewski and Emmi Champion
on February 6th and 7th at the Halifax Infirmary.
Urology Clinic
Emmi Champion is participating in a monthly prostate cancer information meeting for newly
diagnosed patients, coordinated by Debbie McLeod.
We are currently planning the Urology Nurses of Canada Dine and Learn which will be held May 28,
Welcome to our team Destiny Triesen, LPN from B.C and Lana Seo, RN from 6B.
Congrats and good luck to the following people who left 5B: Chris Hanf accepted an administrative
role; Melissa Schofield, RN relocated to minor procedures; Anna McQuinn, RN relocated to dialysis;
Anna Hill, RN moved to Alberta; Adrienna Smith, RN registered for the OR course; Paula Carver,
ward clerk relocated to 5A and Jennifer Fenirtry has enrolled in Osteopath course and is now part
Greg Uy, RN announced his engagement.
Big thanks to Ruth Kwantes for her six months as preceptor for new nursing staff. Enjoy
The Department of Urology is delighted to have Dr. Ian M.
Thompson as the visiting speaker for the April 24th, 2015
Research Day. Dr. Thompson is the Director of the Cancer
Therapy and Research Center at the University of Texas HSC at
San Antonio, a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer
Center. He is the Chair of the Early Detection Research
Network of the National Cancer Institute and Chairs the
Genitourinary Committee of the Southwest Oncology Group, the
largest clinical trials organization sponsored by the National
Cancer Institute.
He has previously chaired the Urology
Residency Review Committee of ACGME and served as President
of the Society of Urologic Oncology. He is President of the
American Board of Urology and serves on the Parent Committee
of the Cancer Centers Program of the National Cancer Institute.
During this time he has published more than 550 peer-reviewed
Dr. Ian Thompson Guest Speaker
Research Day- April 24, 2015
We’re on the Web!
See us at:
Dr. Thompson serves as Principal Investigator of the San
Antonio Center for Biomarkers of risk of Prostate Cancer, a
program funded for 15 years by the National Cancer Institute.
He served as Principal Investigator of the Prostate Cancer
Prevention Trial, SWOG8794, and of SELECT, all very large,
randomized clinical trials funded by the National Cancer
Under his leadership, the Department of Urology
became the highest-funded Department by the National
Institutes of Health.
Dr. Thompson retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Army, having
served as Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Brooke
Army Medical Center. He served in Saudi Arabia and Iraq as a
General Surgeon with the 41st Combat Support Hospital during
Operation Desert Storm/Shield.